Reddit – Unreliable, Hostile and Trolly?

Is Reddit a bad place?

“many…deride Reddit for being unreliable and hostile and trolly”

The above comment was written by a journalist. That is not an atypical opinion of Reddit, coming from a journalist or anywhere else. In fact, it might be the most common opinion among people who understand how it works but don’t use it very much. Well, Reddit can be all of the above but is it bad?

For those of you who don’t know, Reddit is a social media news and entertainment site where users both supply the content and “vote” on its relevance. Depending on your interests and level of tolerance, it can be very good or very bad.

Last week, a couple of journalists had a Twitter exchange – Mathew Ingram from GigiOm (@mathewi) and whoever was manning the @digitaljournal Twitter account that day. Digital Journal is a Canadian next gen news platform.

The conversation centered around how journalists should be thinking about the news, and drifted to non-traditional news sites like Reddit. The following occurred:

Reply 1:

Biased follow up up question:

Very reasonable response:

This tweet ended the conversation, and it is the thing. As a parent when your kids are young enough – say 5 or 7 years old, you can shield them from everything “bad” on the internet if you work at it hard enough. And you should. At some point, though, at least by the time a child has his own cell phone and probably before that, you can’t be there 24×7 monitoring what he is doing online. If you have young kids, prepare yourself because that time is coming. If you have teens, it’s already an issue.

You need to talk to your teens about how to think about bad sites, content and actors online, and what an appropriate response looks like. For online content, there is an endless supply that is in some way inappropriate. Best to ignore it and move on. For people who are up to no good, he same advice applies. For sites, apps and forums with both bad and good content, help your teen to develop the judgment to decide which is which.

This will come naturally at a certain age and maturity level. If it hasn’t yet, parents can help.


Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.

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